Chicken wing shortage affecting restaurants and wing lovers

'It's going to be a few more weeks before we have an adequate supply'
Chicken wings
Posted at 3:37 PM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 17:56:34-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In 2020, there was plenty of toilet paper being supplied by manufacturers. But pandemic-induced panic-buying and hoarding led to a shortage on store shelves.

The same thing happened for a short time with electronic thermometers.

This year, restaurants are facing a chicken wing shortage.

Unlike the toilet paper shortage, the reasons behind the chicken wing shortage are supply-based.

Suppliers can't deliver enough wings to restaurants, which is leading to higher prices.

Cheney Brothers, a major food distributor located in Riviera Beach that supplies many restaurants in South Florida, is dealing with the shortage.

"We cannot get chicken wings," said John Reisigl, president of Cheney Brothers. "That's the hot item right now. You know, it takes many, many weeks to take a bird from hatchling to the time it gets processed. And with the economy opening up in all states, and demand for chicken wings like it is, the poultry packers weren't adequately prepared to have enough product in the pipeline. So they are playing catch up now. They're trying to get caught up. It's going to be a few more weeks before we have an adequate supply of chicken wings."

Thirsty Turtle Seagrill, with locations in Port St. Lucie and Juno Beach, announced Tuesday it is no longer including wings in its happy-hour pricing.

If your favorite wing spot is running low on wings, or if the prices have increased and you're looking for another option, you can consider having boneless "wings" instead, which are made from more easily obtainable breast meat.